ISLAMABAD - Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday summoned a meeting of the Central Executive Committee of the party on December 29 to discuss the opposition’s plan to quit the national and provincial assemblies en-bloc. 

The meeting will be held at Bilawal House Karachi as the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement alliance prepares for a ‘decisive’ campaign against the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led government.

“The meeting will start at 2 pm. The CEC will discuss the prevailing political situation in the country in detail,” Secretary Information PPP Parliamentarians Dr Nafisa Shah said.

Earlier, Bilawal had announced that the PPP will take a final decision on resigning from the assemblies after consulting the party’s CEC.

Bilawal however, had denied reports that PPP was not becoming a part of the PDM’s decisions and said that every party has taken up the resignation issue at their party platform and the PPP would also discuss it at the CEC forum. “PDM has decided to submit resignations with the party leadership by December 31,” he said, adding the PPP was also a part of the decision.

Earlier in the day, the PPP chief invited the PDM leaders to join him at the December 27 rally to mark former premier Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary. He also called on the head of Jamhoori Watan Party Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao at his residence in Islamabad and personally invited him for the Larkana rally.

Both the leaders discussed prevailing political situation in the country and running an effective movement against government. PPP Secretary General Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and senator Qurat ul Ain Marri also accompanied the Chairman PPP, said a PPP statement. The PPP chief also telephoned the head of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Mehmood Khan Achakzai and discussed political situation in Balochistan and Pakistan. 

He invited Achakzai on the occasion of the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto to Garhi Khuda Bakhsh. 

Meanwhile yesterday, PPP leader Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said that regularization of Prime Minister Imran Khan’ residence in Bani Gala was a “classic example of abuse of authority by the present regime.” 

In a statement, Senator Khokhar said Imran Khan had made claims of making “one Pakistan” for all but in reality this decision is reflective of the fact that there are two Pakistan’s, one for the common citizens whose homes and  livelihoods were bulldozed on the pretext of encroachment and the other for Imran Khan and his friends. 

He demanded that a fair and transparent investigation be carried out to probe Capital Development Authority’s role in facilitating such abuse of authority. 

“Where is NAB (National Accountability Bureau) and why is it not taking action in this regard,” Senator Khokhar questioned. NAB, he said, was quick to initiate references against opposition politicians and bureaucrats on flimsy charges but was “completely indifferent to this blatant irregularity and misuse of authority.”

Separately, Member Core Committee of the PPP Taj Haider strongly condemned the approval by the Federal Government of Census 2017 results. 

In a statement, he alleged that the Federal Cabinet under the Prime Minister had opted to bypass the Agreement of the Parliamentary Leaders of the Senate for correcting the highly controversial Census 2017 results through recount of population in 5% randomly selected population blocks. 

Taj Haider said that the Agreement of the Parliamentary leaders which also bears the signatures of Senator Azam Swati on behalf of PTI had made possible the passage of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, which allowed use of the provisional Census 2017 figures for delimitation of constituencies only for the General Elections of 2017 and the by-elections thereof. 

These figures are not valid for any other election at any level or for the distribution of resources between the Provinces.

“The deliberately created flaw in the method used for Census 2017 is its count on de-jure method which does not count migrants from other provinces in the population of the province where they were presently living. 

 

 

This mistaken method was not applied while counting the population of Islamabad, where more than 90 % of citizens are migrants from other provinces,” he said. 

 

Haider added: “However, this major flaw in counting methodology had greatly reduced the population of all districts of the Province of Sindh. The Agreement of Parliamentary leaders is based on recount of all persons living on any address in randomly selected blocks all over Pakistan which is the universally accepted and implemented de-facto method.” 

Average Household Size had been greatly reduced in Census 2017 in all districts of Sindh. This decrease was much higher in comparison in districts other than those of Karachi, he said. 

Senator Taj Haider referred to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey which is conducted in every Province of Pakistan under the auspices of UNICEF every 4 years. 

“MICS for Sindh 2014 on page ix gives the Average Household Size in Sindh as 7.2. If we multiply this figure with number of Households of Sindh recorded in Census 2017 (8,585,610) the minimum population of Sindh in 2017 comes to 61,816,392 instead of 47,886,051 indicated in the anti-Sindh Census 2017,” he said. 

The manipulated reduction of 13,930,341 in the population of Sindh amounts to a reduction of 22.54 % in the actual population of Sindh. In fact the MICS conducted in all provinces of Pakistan every 4 years under the auspices of UNICEF is a most reliable indicator of the respective populations of all provinces, a kind of much more reliable alternate population count than the Census 2017 provides, he said. 

“Sindh has suffered too long. The injustices and discrimination against Sindh in almost all national spheres must stop. It does not pay to be over smart. We Sindhis are not prepared to take it lying down any more,” said Taj Haider.